Two Hawaiian ‘Vaquero’ Guitars

1. 1936 Hawaiian Vaquero Guitar by Kay

Screen printed with a 2 color volcano Hawaiian scene, this originally had a metal tailpiece and floating bridge.  I made a new bridge from the Australian hardwood, gidgee.  It has also been X-braced and had a refret.  The sound board is original and made from a beautiful unknown timber.  The neck was reset.

Made in Chicago by Kay for Spiegel’s. It has Kay’s tell tale 2 soundboard braces between the bridge and the base of the guitar.  I sold this guitar and it is now owned by actor John C. Reilly, who bought it from my friends at The Guitar Repairers, Brisbane.

2. 1937 Hawaiian Vaquero Guitar by Harmony

(I hope to post a sound clip soon)

Fabulous stenciled Hawaiian image in 3 colors, solid birch construction with a metal tail piece that has been re-nickel plated. Made by Harmony with their typical small oval date stamp inside the guitar (in this instance S-37, Summer 1937).
This guitar has been fully restored with a neck reset, refret and V-bracing replacing the original ladder bracing. Taking off the original silver paint on the fretboard revealed the beautiful flecked maple grain.

I added ferrules/bushings to the tuners which work well.  The guitar has that bright vintage sound.

Note the plectrum shaped letters, which would have been the initials of the original owner, a sales gimmick of the period. These were included in the purchase price of $5.98 along with some accessories (see Spiegel’s listing above).

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